I just ordered another '51 Navy - THR

Go Back   THR > Tools and Technologies > Blackpowder Shooting

Welcome to THR
You are currently viewing our site as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have, access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit the help section.

Thread Tools
Old October 23, 2014, 04:17 AM   #1
Join Date: May 20, 2010
Posts: 708
I just ordered another '51 Navy

I just got off the phone with Cabela's completeing an order for another /36 caliber Colt replica!
Seems I can't get enough of them andin several models. Just different enough to make it intreting.
The model I ordered is the standard, steel frame/brass backstrap Piettia in .36 caliber. The basic long barrel version that was issued to civil war Army units by the thousands.
I already own a .36 caliber Uberti London model, a '61 Piettia Police model in .36 caliber and a fantasy revolver, a Piettia .44 caliber Navy model (A caliber never actually in production but dreamed up by the manufacturer). This model has a brass frame and gripstrap. The large caliber is supposedly in production to satisfy American shooters. I really don't see the logic in such a venture but they sell many of them! Low price, Big Bang and a pretty frame.
My love affair with the Navy model relates to the great handling qualitys of the Navy model.
Be it in .36 or .44caliber, the revolvers are a pleasure to shoot and in most ases, exhibit pleasing lines. and afford the shooter with a relatively lightweight, easy to carry revolvercombining power, accuracy and reliability.

Of the models I own, each has been chosen for it's individual characteristics
and each is as different from the other as the model line is similar.
Starting with the standard model, the 6 shot .36 caliber revolver has the full length barrel (for maximum powder burn) and is the basic design available from Colt from it's inception.
a model I have longed for but I keep buying alternate models as they catch my eye and mood.
The London model represents production guns made in Great Britan a .36 caliber 6 shot full sized revolver with the Peacemaker style grip. It;s a very comfortable gun to handle and shoot, The Peacemaker grip allows better grip and aids the accuracy of the revolver. They have a steel backstrap and deep blueing.
Overall very good shooters!
The Piettia Police model is another fantasy model, using the '61 frame and a modified and shortened barrel assembly. 6 shot cylinders are usedinstead of the correct 5 of the origonal which is built using a .36 caliber cylinder inside a small .31 caliber frame.
The barrel length is 5 1/2" making this a quick handling piece.
In my opnion, it is an ideal combination of size, 6 shot capacity and a full sized cylinder. This allows for full size revolver charges and full power shots.
The brass framed .44 is another fantasy model built atop a full sized frame and has a cylinder stepped up to accept the .44 ball and charge.
Being a brass framed gun, it is advisable to use only light charges in order to prevent frame damage.
The brass frame acts like a bearing surface of self lubricating qualitys making this model very smooth to shoot and cycle.
I normally load at 20 grains of propellant or under to preserve the revolver. So far these loads have not harmed the gun nd are very accurate!
It was my first BP and not knowing the brass frames were weak I bought it out of ignorance.
Frankily, it's been a really good gun with light recoil and ssuprising power. It turned out well and I don't regret buying the revolver.
I am running out of space to store all these Navies and probablly this will be the last one I buy but you never know... It's a breed that captures you!
ZVP is offline  
Old October 23, 2014, 08:07 AM   #2
45 Dragoon
Join Date: May 18, 2013
Posts: 499
Wait till you get to the Big Guns!!! The Walker and various Dragoons!!! THEY . . . . . speak volumes!!!!!

45 Dragoon is offline  
Old October 23, 2014, 08:54 AM   #3
Join Date: January 28, 2007
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 3,106
The 51s and 61s are good revolvers. I prefer the 61s but the are built on the same frame (as is the 1860). The grips from the 51 and 61 evolved into what became the 1873 Model P and are fairly universal. I have some of each and prefer the Uberti but that is because they were bought years ago.
Knowledge I take to the grave is wasted.

I don't know all the answers but I have made most of the mistakes and lived to tell about them.

StrawHat is offline  
Old October 23, 2014, 05:02 PM   #4
Join Date: May 20, 2010
Posts: 708
Like Mike V. I am fascinated with the .36 caliber Navy model! Those of you who share our interests I hope will enjoy reading these posts about the Navy, sorry to bore the rest of the readers with my hang-up!
I spent last nite and a couple hours today reserching the Navy Colt and it's replicas a bit more.
Naturally, the question of power came to mind so while persuing it I discovered that both the round ball and conical bullet approximate the .380 auto cartrige in FPE. No slouch, but it will not knock an opponent off his feet either.
Penetration is the key to evaluating preformance of any caliber/bullet. Will it go in and reach vitals? This necessary point was the guideline for performance evaluations. This is where the Navy Colt won it's reputation as a fighting handgun! It's ball/bullet was a good penetrator both close in and from the Hickock vs Tutt battle, at long range too! Projectile weight and shape differing little inthe .36 Navy. Both had very good penetration capibilities.
Using propellant charges of 20 to 25 gr of propellant gave velocities between 00fps and 1000fps, way more than adequate for the task.
The effectiveness of the revolver/caliber combination is evidenced by thelong production run of the Navy model, from 1850 through 1872! Production generally ceased with the introduction of the cartridge firing Peacemaker.
Variants of the basic Navy model were built during the Navy's long run, used widely and appreciated by their owners.
As posted above, todays manufacturers have expanded the model's line by introducing several "fantasy" models of varying features and calibers. in reality most never existed but actually have proven to be refreshing departures from the basic Navy plus being,in most cases, good performers! The .44 caliber versions produce tremendous FPE advantages while retaining the origonal'ssize and weight.
Modified with shorter barrels, grips, and sights, these fantasy gunsoffer some actually practical and useful features.
Back in the day of actual production, variants were few because of the Civil War and other commercial commitments that Colt had so dallying with the proven original was more prudent.
Back to todays variants, owning "one of each" affords todays shooter with some very intresting opportunities to find a favorite. personally I enjoy the Origonal, the Piettia Police, and especially the London reproductions. All charged with the same load, 22gr of propellant, filler as needed, a felt wad and round ball, set off with a Remington percussion cap.
It'll be a long wait till the 31'st when my standard model arrives via UPS, I hate the wait but I'm cheap!
Shooting impressions and comparisons of the various models to follow.
ZVP is offline  
Old October 23, 2014, 05:52 PM   #5
Join Date: September 13, 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,354
Its place in history and its constant reference when reading contemporary accounts makes it tops among all handguns.
Crawdad1 is offline  

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:55 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise.
This site, its contents, Shooting Reviews, and its contents are Copyright (c) 2010-2013 Firearms Forum, Inc.
Although The High Road has attempted to provide accurate information on the forum, The High Road assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. All information is provided "as is" with all faults without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Neither The High Road nor any of its directors, members, managers, employees, agents, vendors, or suppliers will be liable for any direct, indirect, general, bodily injury, compensatory, special, punitive, consequential, or incidental damages including, without limitation, lost profits or revenues, costs of replacement goods, loss or damage to data arising out of the use or inability to use this forum or any services associated with this forum, or damages from the use of or reliance on the information present on this forum, even if you have been advised of the possibility of such damages.